Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and related answers about this subject. If you have any questions about this subject that aren't answered below, feel free to join us at the Polish Culture Forum.
Q: Where is Poland located?
Geographically, Poland is not in the Eastern Europe. It is in the very center of Europe. Historically Poland was always a bridge between Western and Eastern tradition, culture, religions and cuisine. Read more about it in General Information about Poland - Truth and Stereotypes.
Q: When is the best time to visit Poland?
Summer and Fall (before November) are the most beautiful seasons in Poland. Check the information about Polish regions.
Q: Can you recommend a travel agency or hotel?
I really can't recommend a specific travel agency or hotel. Look at our hotels and travel agencies section.
Q: What is the weather like?
Polish climate is the intermediate between a marine mild climate of the Western Europe (mild summers and winters, lot of rain, clouds) and the continental climate of the Eastern Europe (with warm dry summers and cold winters). Depending on wind moist, cloudy days alternate with clear and dry days.
Warsaw's July temperatures average from 20 to 25 °C (70-80 F). Winters are cold with Warsaw's average January temperatures ranging from -5 to -1 °C. Snow may lie on the ground up to three months but I remember some winters almost without snow at all. But one can count on snow always in Polish mountains (South Poland) during winter. The average yearly rainfall is 600 mm, varying from 450 mm in North-Eastern Poland to 1000 mm in the mountains.
Poles complain that there is too much rain and cloudy days in Poland which influence the moods of people. But because of the rain Polish grass is always green (although it has too much weeds sometimes) and the farmers do not need complex irrigation systems.
Q: What is food in Poland like?
Polish food is good especially for the moderate climate, cheap but time-consuming to prepare. The main ingredients base on plants grown in Poland like potatoes, rye, wheat, barley, millet, cabbage, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers etc.
Soups are popular in Poland. The typical Polish soups: Beetroot soup (barszcz), Polish sour rye soup (zurek) and sauerkraut soup. The typical meatless Polish dishes are pierogi (dumplings) filled with cheese or sauerkraut and mushrooms and cabbage parcels (golabki). The typical dishes with meat are: hunter stew (bigos) made from cabbage (sauerkraut) and sausage (Polish kielbasa, but the real sausage is much better than this available in supermarkets) and breaded pork (kotlet schabowy).
Poles do not only eat potatoes in their pure form as potatoes but they prepare so called kluski of different sorts or dumplings out of it. By the way, Polish potatoes, especially the young ones are delicious! Look at our food and food & store links section for recipes and food stores.
Q: What are the common misconceptions about Poland?
Poland is located in the Central not Eastern Europe. Polka is not a Polish dance. Poland belongs to the bigger (by size and population) countries in Europe and was not always under influence of Russia and communism. Poland was culturally and historically always between Western and Eastern Europe.
Q: What are people in Poland like?
Polish people are very hospitable and friendly towards visitors but usually they do not talk to the strangers on the streets unless asked, especially in big towns. In cities more people speak foreign languages – English and German. People in Poland are rather homogeneous ethnically, white, they may look at somebody with a different skin color with curiosity, especially in the countryside. Poles look just like white American but are usually smaller in size, especially horizontal. Read about Polish families, marriage and dating and about Polish traditions.
Eyewitness Travel Guide to Poland (Eyewitness Travel Guides) by Teresa Czerniewics-Umer, Malgorzata Omilanowska, Jerzy S. Majewski, DK Travel Writers